Learning and Instruction

The Department of Learning and Instruction offers exciting and unique programs at the master’s/credential and doctoral levels.

The Master’s Degree in Special Education with a Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential program prepares candidates to teach K-12 students with mild to moderate disabilities with a focus on urban, multicultural special education.

The doctoral program in Learning and Instruction emphasizes theories of learning, teaching, and instruction, which inform educational practices in a variety of settings. Graduates of the program apply their skills to deliver instruction, conduct research, evaluate programs, design curriculum, and solve learning-based problems.

All of these programs share the conviction that instructional decisions must be grounded in the best social science evidence available at the time. Thus, the overriding goal is to prepare our graduates to contribute to, and make use of, the ever-changing knowledge base in learning and instruction.

Credential and Masters Program

The Master’s Degree in Special Education with a Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential program is designed to prepare interns for special education careers in diverse, urban schools. In this two-year cohort program, candidates can earn Preliminary Teaching Credentials and Master’s Degrees while working as paid intern teachers in Bay area schools.

The Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential authorizes graduates to work in a wide variety of positions. They can be employed in public and private K-12 schools as special day class teachers or as resource and inclusion specialists. With the credential and master’s degree, graduates can be employed at California community colleges as Special Education Learning Specialists.

The Master of Arts degree in Special Education requires the completion of the following:

  • TEC 621 Multiple Subject Curriculum & Instruction: Early Literacy
  • TEC 604 L&I Math/Science SPED
  • L&I 637 Teaching Diverse Groups
  • L&I 665 Development of Legal and Educational Foundations for the Learning Specialist
  • L&I 636 Educational Practices for the Learning Specialist
  • L&I 633 Assessment in Special Education
  • L&I 631 Curriculum and Instruction for Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities
  • L&I 639 Intern Teaching Seminar I
  • L&I 676 Behavioral Management
  • L&I 622 Instructional Uses of Technology for the Learning Specialist
  • L&I 640 Intern Teaching Seminar II
  • L&I 675 Data-based Instruction
  • L&I 678 Intern Teaching Seminar III
  • L&I 659 Collaboration and Consultation
  • L&I 679 Intern Teaching Seminar IV
  • TEC 642 Health Education
  • L&I 641 Research in Special Education
  • L&I 638 Master's Thesis/Field Project
Total Units for Master’s Degree with Credential – 42 credits

Doctoral Programs

Within the Department of Learning and Instruction (L&I) there are two doctoral degree options: Ed.D. in Learning and Instruction and an Ed.D. in Special Education. Two doctoral programs housed in the same department allows students to integrate coursework and to collaborate with peers and faculty from related fields.

The doctoral program in Learning and Instruction

The Ed.D. in Learning and Instruction program provides working professionals with the research skills and core content to make use of and contribute to the knowledge base in learning and instruction. Using the latest technology to assist in instructional delivery and support, coursework is offered in learners and learning, instructional settings, research skills, and special education. There is also an option to obtain either a Concentration in Special Education or a Concentration in Digital Media and Learning (9 credits).

The doctoral program consists of 60 credit hours of study beyond the master’s degree and culminates in the completion of a doctoral dissertation. Students will complete 60 credits of doctoral coursework that satisfy the following requirements: Foundation Core (12 credits), L&I Electives (15 credits), Advanced Research Core (12 credits), Elective courses (12 credits), and Dissertation Core (9 credits). The 12 credits of Foundation Core courses are:

  • GEDU 704 Psychological Foundations of Education
  • GEDU 706 Applied Educational Statistics
  • GEDU 708 Research Methods in Education
  • L&I 700 Cognitive Psychology

Students are required to complete 15 credits of L&I Elective courses. Students can select 5 courses from the following L&I offerings in consultation with the student’s advisor:

  • L&I 752 Data-Based Decision Making for School Leaders
  • L&I 724 Grant Writing
  • L&I 713 Essentials for Teaching in Higher Education
  • L&I 732 Motivation
  • L&I 735 Creativity
  • L&I 702 Human Abilities
  • L&I 712 Performance-Based Assessment
  • L&I 743 Constructivism and Technology
  • L&I 701 Multimedia Learning
  • L&I 714 Problem-, Project-, & Inquiry-based Learning
  • L&I 798 Special Topics
  • GEDU 722 Meta-analysis
  • GEDU 721 Correlational Designs
  • GEDU 724 Intro to SPSS

The 12 credits of coursework to fulfill the Advanced Research Core requirements are as follows:

  • GEDU 707 Advanced Statistics
  • GEDU 714 Educational and Psychological Measurement
  • L&I 707 Literature reviews
  • One advanced Methodology course selected in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Students are allowed 12 credits of Elective courses taken within the L&I department or any other program within the School of Education with the permission of the advisor.

Students have the option of adding one of two minors offered along with the Ed.D. in Learning and Instruction: A minor in Special Education or a minor in Educational Technology (ETK). Students may also choose to develop a minor with a sequence of four related courses in O&L or IME, but must be done so with the approval of their L&I advisor and an advisor from the minor department. The minor is in lieu of the 12 credit pure elective requirement. Students must complete both MA and EdD course to meet this requirement. The Concentration is in lieu of the 9 credit Elective requirement.

The minor in Special Education requires the following four courses (12 credits):

  • L&I 716 Multiliteracies in Teacher Education
  • L&I 717 Disability Studies in Education
  • L&I 718 Disability Law and Public Policy
  • L&I 710 Disability & Impairment

The minor in Educational Technology requires the following four courses (12 credits):

  • ETK 602 Digital Leadership Lab (3)
  • ETK 603 Made to Stick: Teaching with the Brain in Mind (3)
  • ETK 604 Digital Storytelling (3)
  • ETK 605 Multimedia Learning (3)
  • ETK 606 Media Lab (3)
  • ETK 607 Learning Design (3)
  • ETK 608 Design Lab (3)
  • ETK 609 Change the World from Here (3)
  • ETK 610 Web Design Lab (3)
  • ETK 614 Navigating the Divide: Digital Leadership (3)

The 9 credits associated with the development, research, and writing of a doctoral dissertation are:

  • L&I 709, IME 709, CEL 709 or O&L 709 Dissertation Proposal Seminar
  • L&I 790 Dissertation Proposal Development
  • L&I 791 Dissertation Research and Writing

Students complete the program by successfully defending their dissertation research in Dissertation Research and Writing.

The doctoral program in Special Education

The Ed.D. in Special Education includes coursework and practicum experiences that develop the competencies to be successful university faculty and researchers. The competencies are aligned along three professional domains: Pedagogy for personnel preparation, research methodology, and school consultation and collaboration.

The program consists of 60 credit hours of study beyond the master’s degree and culminates in the completion of a doctoral dissertation. Students will complete 60 credits of doctoral coursework that satisfy the following requirements: Foundation Core (12 credits), Special Education Core (12 credits), Special Education Apprenticeship (3 credits), Advanced Research Core (12 credits), Core Elective courses (6 credits), and Dissertation Core (9 credits). The 12 credits of Foundation Core courses are:

  • GEDU 704 Psychological Foundations in Education
  • GEDU 706 Applied Educational Statistics
  • GEDU 708 Research Methods in Education
  • L&I 700 Cognitive Psychology

Students are required to complete 12 credits of Special Education Core courses:

  • L&I 716 Multiliteracies in Teacher Education
  • L&I 717 Disability Studies
  • L&I 718 Disability Law and Public Policy
  • L&I 710 Disability and Impairment

The 6 credits of core electives (2 courses) are:

  • IME 706 Critical Analysis of Urban Schooling OR IME 712 Critical Race Theory 
  • O&L 727 Legitimation of Power in Societies and Organizations OR O&L 754 Schools, Communication, and Society

In addition to the above, students are required to complete Intercultural Competence in Special Education

Students are required to complete 3 credits of Special Education Apprenticeships:

  • L&I 719 Education Apprenticeship
  • L&I 722 Research Apprenticeship
  • L&I 726 School Consultation and Collaboration

The 12 credits of coursework to fulfill the Advanced Research Core requirements are as follows:

  • GEDU 712 Qualitative Research in Education
  • L&I 707 Literature Reviews

and two from the following:

  • GEDU 707
  • GEDU 711
  • GEDU 713
  • GEDU 714
  • GEDU 715
  • GEDU 716
  • GEDU 718
  • GEDU 721
  • GEDU 722
  • GEDU 723
  • GEDU 724

Students are allowed 6 credits of L&I Electives selected from the following list:

  • L&I 724 Grant Writing
  • L&I 713 Essentials for Teaching in Higher Education
  • L&I 732 Motivation
  • L&I 702 Human Abilities
  • L&I 712 Performance-Based Assessment
  • L&I 721 Models of Teaching and Instruction
  • L&I 701 Multimedia Learning
  • L&I 714 Problem-, Project-, & Inquiry-based Instruction
  • L&I 743 Constructivism in Technology
  • L&I 725 Instructional Design
  • L&I 798 Special Topics
  • GEDU 722 Meta-analysis
  • GEDU 721 Correlational Designs
  • GEDU 724 Intro to SPSS

The 9 credits associated with the development, research, and writing of a doctoral dissertation are:

  • L&I 709, IME 709, CEL 709 or O&L 709 Dissertation Proposal Seminar
  • L&I 790 Dissertation Proposal Development
  • L&I 791 Dissertation Research and Writing

Students complete the program by successfully defending their dissertation research in Dissertation Research and Writing.

The M.A. in Special Education with the Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Using a variety of instructional strategies, resources, and technologies to meet students' diverse learning needs.
  • Monitoring student learning and adjusting instruction while teaching.
  • Creating a rigorous learning environment with high expectations and appropriate support for all students.
  • Using knowledge of students' academic readiness, language proficiency, cultural background, and individual development to plan instruction.
  • Planning instruction that incorporates appropriate strategies to meet the learning needs of all students.
  • Applying knowledge of the purposes, characteristics, and uses of different types of assessments.

The M.A. in Special Education with the Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Candidate will be able to demonstrate advanced skill in selecting, designing, administering, and interpreting informal and formal reading assessments.
  • Candidate will be able to use performance data and input from various sources to make or suggest appropriate modifications in a broad spectrum of learning environments.
  • Candidate will be able to demonstrate differentiated teaching skills in his or her classrooms.
  • Candidate will be able to describe a variety of instructional procedures and demonstrate the advanced ability to use appropriate instruction for students with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds across a variety of settings.

The Doctoral Program in Learning and Instruction Student Learning Outcomes:

  • The faculty in the Doctoral Program in Learning and Instruction will provide students with foundational-level skills for scholarship in learning and instruction.
    • Students will demonstrate an understanding of data-analysis skills.    
    • Students will demonstrate scholarly analysis of research articles.
    • Students will demonstrate scholarly writing.
  • The faculty in the Doctoral Program in Learning and Instruction will provide students with advanced-level skills for scholarship in learning and instruction.
    •  Students will demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate standardized assessment instruments of their own choosing.
    • Students will demonstrate the ability to write results sections of research studies.
    • Students will demonstrate the ability to apply literature review techniques to a subject of their own choosing.
  • The faculty in the Doctoral Program in Learning and Instruction will provide students with the ability to design, conduct, and communicate original research of their own choosing.
    • Students will communicate original research
    • Students will design, conduct, and write up original research of their own choosing.